Saturday, 18 July 2009

flu and Dr Tapper

Flu epidemics of all sorts come and go, but in London's pre-war East End, there was no vaccine to fight an outbreak of anything. There were countless diseases springing from poverty and all you had at your disposal were the coloured glass flasks of herbal remedies lining Dr Tapper's shelves. Each one held a cure or so you hoped and best of all, they were free. Blind faith in an old man riding a horsedrawn cab was your best defence against the grim reaper. From Dr Tapper's carpetbag came a brave philosophy on life; let nature be your cure. And my mum who is 91, still agile enough to shop on my arm each week and wink at the boys, is proof enough that faith can work miracles! Read the Rivers novels for more.

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